Number of adults reported with genital ulcer disease in the past 12 months

Export Indicator

Number of adults reported with genital ulcer disease in the past 12 monthsSTI Pilot Indicators (to be reported by PAHO and EMRO countries only)
What it measures

Progress in reducing unprotected sex in the general population.


Genital ulcer disease is an STI syndrome generally most commonly caused by syphilis, chancroid, or herpes simplex virus. Presentation with an acute STI syndrome such genital ulcer disease is a marker of unprotected sexual intercourse and facilitates HIV transmission and acquisition. Therefore, surveillance for genital ulcer disease contributes to second-generation HIV surveillance through providing early warning of the epidemic potential of HIV from sexual transmission and on-going high-risk sexual activity that may need more aggressive programme interventions to reduce risk. Furthermore, untreated genital ulcer diseases can cause stillbirths and neonatal disease, and can progress to debilitating or fatal outcomes in adults.


Number of adults reported with genital ulcer disease during the reporting period


Number of individuals aged 15 and older per UNPD

Method of measurement

Routine health information systems

Data Quality Control and Notes for the Reporting Tool: Recommended indicator in: “Strategies and laboratory methods for strengthening surveillance of sexually transmitted infection 2012”

Measurement frequency

Gender: Male, Female

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

Although WHO has provided a global case definition, actual case definition may vary between and within countries. Furthermore, clinical diagnostic capacity may vary between and within countries. Although underreporting of this indicator may occur, in the absence of changes in case definition or major changes in screening practices, these data can generally be used for following trends over time within a country.

Additional considerations: It is important that countries when reporting on genital ulcer disease communicate on the extent to which the data are felt to be representative of the national population.
Countries should conduct periodic assessments of the etiology of genital ulcer disease in order to ensure appropriate drug selection for syndromic management and to understand the extent to which genital ulcer disease reflects incident infection due to recurrent HSV infection versus acute infection with syphilis, chancroid, or HSV.

Data utilization: Look at trends in comparable groups over time.

Further information